1.27.2004

While things are vaguely looking up on the job front, many other things are going to shit. I guess that's the way it always works but I'm really not enjoying it.

Heed the foster basset did not go home with the folks from Placerville today. Not only was their dog not fluent in the language of dogs, they used a rope as a leash, looked like they were homeless (I really did try to look past these things) and spoke of having bred a mixed-breed dog in the past.

Sorry, folks. Get your dog from someone else.

1.26.2004

How I know that I've had enough of IKEA. The new user's guide doesn't even strike me as funny. Or interesting enough to read in it's entirety.

Like any good scholar, I will, however, add my own two cents about the experience. The best way to shop at IKEA is to NOT get your heart set on any one piece of furniture. It will invariably be sold out (I know, I know, you are right, we should have known you were coming on *that* day and put one aside for you. Really, I am sorry about that), leaving you to either be disgruntled and leave or approach an innocent co-worker like myself, announcing with great sadness that you have driven all the way from (insert city 20-60 miles away from our current location) and are so disappointed that we didn't have your bed/dresser/chair/curtain/whatevercrapyouthinkicarethatwedon'thave in stock at that very moment.

Here's a little tidbit: the whole store is designed so that you ("the many people") will spend as much of the many dollars that you make at the store. In fact, folks, most stores are built with this factor in mind. Take a minute to stew on that if you need to.

Translation: it's in the store's best financial interests for you to return, because all of the nifty products we carry will avail themselves to you again. Or, when you come back looking for whatever it is that would complete your life, you'll buy some other crap, too.

Yes, it's true. I'm getting burned out on the whole retail thing. Or at least on my current stint. I'm actually starting to care that I'm often the only one actually helping customers while my management and other co-workers do important things like sit in the office at someone else's desks and chat, sit in random places about the building or simply hide from their jobs. I did politely suggest welfare as a better work alternative to one of my more endearing co-workers, though she didn't quite get it. It's time to 1. stop caring about what other folks are doing (restore tunnel vision) and 2. get that better job.

And I assure you, I'm on the road to #2 as we speak. No, not that kind of #2.

1.21.2004

Time for some change
By that, I mean two kinds of change: change in my pocket (there needs to be more of it, pronto) and change in my job situation. As you can see, the two kinds of change are related. As I walked into IKEA the other day, I realized that while parts of my job there (really, just saying, yup I work there when I'm out in public) are pretty cool, the actual job sucks ass. The place is setup so that you go into one little area, in my case, the exciting world of returns, and that's it. You can move around but you can't really go from place to place during the same week. So it's either one thing or another. To that end, I've applied to go to self-serve but really, it's all the same many people and their many issues.

None of whom and none of which lend themselves to my future career as a master of recreation. If I'm going to be making this little money, which I assure you is really not enough to survive on, not if I ever want to wear new clothes or replace my (sadly) aging Passat, that I should be making this little money doing something in recreation.

So I'm going to start applying for recreation type jobs again, this time with the help of my advisor, a well-respected PhD in the field. Hopefully I'll land something both interesting and relevant to my future.

In the meantime, if you see the money fairy, could you ask him to drop a Honda Element and it's paid-off title on my doorstep so I don't have to drive around, worrying that the cehck engine light that is now always on has become significant?

I JUST SCORED MY FIRST CO-ED GOAL!
I have played co-ed hockey for almost 3 years, about 1.5 years longer than I was really ready to. I've had a (small) handful of assists but never a goal. Not even really close.

Tonight, I was determined. We were up 2-1 in the last minute, the other team pulled their goalie and I knew this was my best chance. After all, it's easier to score on an empty net than on a net with a halfway-decent goalie in it. So I got control of the puck in the neutral zone and started skating hard. Their defenseman pushed me toward the boards and I almost lost control, but I didn't. I looked up from the corner and took the shot I work on in practice, shooting from the corner, just above the goal line. The puck slid across the front of the net, popping in at the very last possible moment.

My team went nuts. They knew how badly I wanted to score, that I never had. I high-fived each one of them and they gave me the puck. It's proudly displayed on Alice and Ellie's shelf, where their ashes and favorite toys and my lone other puck from a long-ago green game sit.

That hard-earned puck is in good company and tonight, I'm on top of the world.

Liz Doughty, scorer of two goals in one week!

1.19.2004

Saturday, I was at work with Andrea sent me a text message about this: Hollister woman killed in crash, asking if I knew her.

The answer is yes, yes I did. Melissa was my closest friend at West Valley. She was in all of my classes, save one. We talked a lot and I rode in that little green Hyundai a number of times, on our way to one field trip or another. I've only met one other young person so sure of themselves and their beliefs, that would be my friend Jos, who was killed just before her 18th birthday in 1988.

Melissa was an adamant vegan, wore only animal-free clothes, ate the smelliest vegan crackers in class and chose that little green car because it was vegan. She'd research any medicine her doctors prescribed and not take it if it contained any kind of animal product. She loved the outdoors and wanted nothing more than to be a ranger. She camped whenever she could but was also tired all the time from commuting back and forth from Hollister to San Jose for school. I have no doubt that she fell asleep at the wheel.

She was sure that there was no afterlife, that once you're dead, you're dead. Game over.

I can only hope that it's better than she thought.

Yesterday, I doubled my annual goal scoring by putting in an unprecedented 2nd goal this season! It was a nice one, too.

Liz Doughty, scoring machine!

I also got a phat penalty with Seals Friday night, essentially pinning Angie against the boards. Talk about playing the body.

Liz Doughty, kicker of asses.

And now, Heed is rubbing himself all over my (still wet) sock from yesterday's maroon game. Yum.

Lesson of the Day
Wet hockey gear, left in even the sportiest of bright yellow backpacks, will still be wet the next day. It will also grow smellier.

Could someone please explain to me why our oldest dog (Zeus) is the biggest pain in the ass? I've let him in the office with me while I vainly attempt to finish the remaining piece in my portfolio for last semester's english 201c class (it's a long, rather sad story that won't be disclosed here) with the hopes of claiming the A- that should be rightfully mine instead of the incomplete that I currently hold, or the B+ I could've held already. There I am, minding my own business, when in saunters Zeus, sniffing at everything, boldly climbing in to the big bag of Eukanuba that came with Heed (free! with purchase!) for a snack and refusing to settle down. Thanks, dude. Really.

1.14.2004

Just got back from a very nice night in Monterey. We stayed at the Marina Dunes, which was by far the most grown-up place I've visited. The place is a 'resort,' which means a few nifty things:
  • The pool was phat
  • For the most part, it was as lovely and charming as advertised, though the 'deluxe' room is pretty small.
  • The beach is always good. It's hard to top the beach.
  • The property is right near protected coastline so they provide you with jaunty golf carts to get to and from the room. In some ways, that was the best part.
Coming home from a nice vacation is always hard, even if you're only gone for a day.

1.07.2004

Zeus. Snuggled on top
Of my hockey gloves. Snoring
The happiest guy.

My little old man
How old are you, anyway?
Sleeping on my shoes.

To Tell the Truth
I don't consider myself a goody-two-shoes exactly. No, it's more of a thing with me. That thing? Lying. I just can't do it. My cheeks instantly turn red and I stammer a bit, even on the smallest things. I'd never be a world-class poker player, I can't even lie about having done laundry. This is my issue, or rather, something I take seriously. Since I can't lie well anyway, I may as well embrace my unlying-ness and be happy about it. And I do.

That said, it stands to reason that one of my biggest pet peeves is people, especially friends who lie to me. Small lies, big lies, whatever it is, I must ask what the purpose is in lying to your friends. If I'm your friend, surely I can weather the truth and if I can't, then am I really worthy of your friendship anyway? Best to find out, don't you think?

Being gay and all its implications have given me that particular zen-like awareness. I didn't lose many friends in the coming out process but for those who I did lose, thinking of them still causes a sting in my heart. More like 'how did I not see who you really are -- a person who would shun someone they'd known for years because of something as insignificant to my character as realizing who I really am?' rather than 'ouch, I must not be worthy of their friendship because I'm gay.' Fuck that. I'm a good person, should you choose not to befriend me because I just happen to date women (well, one extremely good one, thank you very much), that's really your loss.

Since I was nineteen and started coming out to the masses, I've known this about people. That they're really not worth the effort if they decide to abandon a friendship for something silly or insignificant. Life is simply too short.

To that end, maybe I contradict myself because when I started writing this, the point was to voice objection to a new-ish friend of mine, a chronic liar. This 'friend' lies about all things, great and small, to all people, close friends included, and has for years. I hadn't been on the (confirmed) receiving end of this particular trait until recently but now I have and I'm pissed. Yet based on my own wisdom (see above) is it more appropriate for me to overlook the lies, to consider them one of those silly somethings that shouldn't kill a friendship?

Yet, I don't think I can overlook the lies. Just about anything else but not lying. What good am I as a person if my word means nothing?

1.06.2004

Homage to Andrea's Sleep Haiku
Somehow, I always
Go to sleep with ease. Drifting
In peaceful slumber

Night after night, no
Matter what goes on 'round me.
I sleep a deep sleep

Contrast: Andrea
One small sip of coke: one long
Night for her. I sleep

Sorry bout the sleep
My love. That has got to suck.
At least I can snore.

Poang Burnout
I worked the last 5 days at the House of Poangs. 4 of those days were in my regular department, returns, where the only thing for certain is that every customer who comes my way brings with them some sort of issue. Most of the time they're understanding about the issue, I deal with them in the fastest, most polite manner possible (though I admit to no longer making eye contact) and get them on their way.

But sometimes, they have a different set of expecatations about what I can do for them. They think that somehow, in a 300,000+ square foot store, we can keep spare copies of the exact product they need right at our tiny counters, counters that are barely big enough to hold the boxes of christmas decorations that are still, sadly, coming back in droves, let alone wardrobes. So, while we politely offer these folks a refund and free admission to the rest of the store, where they can then pick out a new, updated version of what they want, that is not enough.

Yesterday, a young woman (younger than me, I think that's why this bugs me so) brought back a defective thing and got quite irate that we couldn't just snap our fingers and have a replacement appear. She went on to passive-aggressively verbally assault me, saying that *she* thinks you'd (meaning me) want to give 'superior customer service,' to go 'above and beyond,' implying that I'd run into the bowels of the store for her, despite the fact that really, I had no idea where the thing is, that she would know better since she already found one there, albeit a broken one.

I let it go on for a minute, tried to explain that within the house of poangs system, the best we could do was quickly issue a refund. That wasn't enough. Finally, in another oscar moment, I welled up some fake tears and said, 'well, I guess I suck.' She said it wasn't personal but I said, in a very quiet voice 'well, the way you said it made it seem that way.'

And the oscar goes to...me. And my stinkin Poang.